I've been going through a real crisis of late.
Two of them, actually. One is personal enough that I can't discuss it, the other is related to my deep disappointment with my experience of "church." (That's not disappointment with God, but with we human beings who create inefficient, worldly and unChristlike institutions.)
In addition to these two spiritual trials, I've been feeling the constant subliminal strain of waiting to hear news on my novel. It has not been a highly pleasurable and relaxing time in my life.
I decided to mention this because I received a gift late this afternoon that has completely changed my attitude toward this time of disorientation and crisis.
Exhausted from my emotional rollercoaster, I took my daughter to the library to while away half an hour before a doctor's appointment. She went to watch a Froggy storytime. I had a few minutes to myself in the library.
I needed help. I was wiped out, and at the end of my rope with all the stresses I was carrying.
I walked over to the computer search terminal and typed in "Bible" to see what would come up.
I saw a couple of interesting titles under the call number 220.1, so I decided to go browse around that call number in search of "help."
While looking through various works related to the Bible, I let my eyes drift to the right, where I saw more general works of Christian nonfiction.
This title caught my eye:
When the Heart Waits.
Oh, how my heart is sick of waiting and confusion. Of course, I had to take it down and look at it.
It's a spiritual memoir by Sue Monk Kidd, the author of The Secret Life of Bees.
I checked it out. I've been reading it now for a couple of hours, setting aside everything else to absorb the truths that Sue Monk Kidd discovered through painful times of waiting and darkness.
I don't say this lightly: this is one of the best books I have ever read.
Get it. Read it.
It has done me more good than a year of church. Well, let me amend that. The book has brought me more comfort than this past year in church. My time at church may have done me good, but in hard ways.
It took an internal storm to drive me to search for anything in the library under the term "Bible."
It took a perfect storm to blow this book into my life.
When the Heart Waits is leading me gently to the perfection in the heart of the storm.